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March 25, 2022

Columbia Pulls Off Shocking Comeback to Defeat Boston College in WNIT, 54-51 – Columbia University Athletics

By: Matt Sugam

NEW YORK – Thursday night’s win will live on in Levien Gymnasium for years to come.

Trailing by as many as 17, the Columbia women’s basketball team pulled off a nearly unthinkable comeback, stunning Boston College, 54-51, to advance to the National Quarterfinals of the WNIT. Jaida Patrick’s layup with 12.1 seconds left gave Columbia (25-6, 12-2 Ivy) its first lead of the night and the Lions survived a 3-pointer at the buzzer, as the home crowd stormed the court to celebrate.

And they did it without hitting a 3-pointer all night. The Lions (25-6, 12-2 Ivy) outscored Boston College (21-12, 10-8 ACC) 36-18 in the second half and finished the game 0-for-20 from beyond the arc, making the comeback even that much more improbable.

Davis and Kitty Henderson’s Defensive swarm led to a tie-up and a jump-ball with 16.3 seconds left and Columbia down 51-50.

With the possession arrow, head coach Megan Griffith ’07CC called timeout to draw up a play. Patrick hit a layup off a pass from Davis to give Columbia its first lead of the game with 12.1 remaining.

“KD [Davis] saw a lane and she took what was given to her, because no one can really guard her,” Patrick said.

“Jaida made herself available and I knew she was going to sink it. Trust my teammate. Just like Coach G said, we roll as a team,” Davis said of her game-winning dish. “So, I dumped and she sealed the game.”

Henderson put the game on ice with a pair of free throws. BC’s Sydney Schwartz got off a look at the buzzer to send it to overtime, but it clanged off the back iron, as the student section poured onto Schiller Court.

“We never really doubted ourselves that we would get this far and we’ve been locked in every game, taking it one game at a time,” Patrick said. “And to have that great crowd energy was an even better feeling. We’re excited that we were able to play at home and at the end of the game, all the support that they showed was absolutely amazing.”

Kaitlyn Davis led Columbia with a team-high 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting, adding six rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Patrick posted a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Cameron Swartz led BC with a game-high 24 points to go with seven rebounds. Taylor Soule added 14 points and seven rebounds.

The Eagles led from the opening tip, hitting a 3-pointer to start the game and leading 21-11 after the first quarter. BC led by as many as 17 in the second quarter.

By halftime, the Lions were facing a 33-18 deficit.

Columbia had a tough shooting night, going 23 percent from the field in the first half. While the Lions improved to 48 percent in the second half, they ended the game 0-of-20 from beyond the arc.

“Our first half was a little brutal,” Griffith said. “I just thought offensively it was pretty tough. We didn’t see the ball go through the net, which I think frustrated us a little bit.”

However, Columbia ended the half on a layup from Davis assisted by Hannah Pratt that gave the Lions some momentum heading into halftime.

Then, Griffith gave what may have become the Knute Rockne speeches of women’s college basketball.

“She’s the master of halftime speeches,” Davis said. “I’m not going to give away the secrets, but it’s magic.”

The Lions came roaring back in the second half, starting on a 8-0 run. Abbey Hsu hit a jumper – her first bucket of the game – and caused the Eagles to call a timeout with 6:58 left in the third quarter. Hsu finished with nine points and nine rebounds to go with a couple critical buckets down the stretch on an atypical scoring night for Columbia’s sharp-shooter.

Boston College would cling to a 41-35 lead after three quarters. The game was now in reach, but had never been in doubt.

“Have you seen our season?” Davis quipped.

The Lions have had a few major comebacks this year, including down 14 at Clemson early in the season.

“It came in handy, that experience,” Davis said. “Honestly, we trusted our teammates and locked in on defense. As a team we locked them down in the second half and it was just a matter of locking in and playing as a team on both ends.”

Columbia cut the lead to two on a couple of occasions before Henderson tied the game at 43 at 5:41 with a pair of free throws. It was the first knotted score since the opening tip before a back-and-forth final five minutes.

“This team hasn’t gotten used to winning yet in a way against really good teams when it matters, when there’s pressure and there’s high stakes,” Griffith added. “So you cannot replace this and I told them at the beginning of the WNIT, ‘Every team that makes a run in this tournament, they get to the NCAA tournament the next year.'”

But first, is a home game against Big East foe Seton Hall, with a trip to the WNIT Final Four on the line. The game will tip at 8 pm on Schiller Court at Levien Gym. Tickets for the Lions’ remaining game are available by visiting gocolumbialions.com/tickets or calling 888-LIONS-11. For venue policies, click here. Fans unable to watch the games can see them live on ESPN+,

“We hope even more people come. Monday – we know it’s a class day, so hopefully some professors will help us out,” Davis said, adding, “We’ve just been very thankful for our community and how they’ve shown out for us throughout the season and I don’t doubt that they’ll do it again Monday.”

For the latest on Columbia women’s basketball, follow @CULionsWBB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and the web at GoColumbiaLions.com.

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Matt Sugam has been covering sports in the NYC Metropolitan area for over a decade. He has spent the last eight years covering college and professional sports as a stringer for the Associated Press, while also contributing to The New York Times, USA Today Network, NJ.com, and SNY.tv. He will be covering Lions Athletics for gocolumbialions.com while pursuing an MS in Strategic Communication at Columbia’s School of Professional Studies. Follow him on Twitter @MattSugam

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